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KEY ACTIONS FOR EFFECTIVE SAFETY LEADERSHIP

Review of safety leadership research reveals top ten actions for all managers

HSE has published Research Report RR952 – A review of the literature on effective leadership behaviours for safety, which reports on an extensive review of published evidence over the last 10 years capturing current knowledge in the area of safety leadership.

The key messages reveal the top ten behaviours for all levels of management.

Top 10 positive actions for all managers
  • Vision – articulate a clear vision for safety and motivate others achieve it; 
  • Goals – set and communicate clear goals and standards for safety;
  • Resources – provide necessary resources to match your goals; 
  • Behaviour – champion safety, act as a role model and show concern for welfare of others; 
  • Monitoring – track progress in meeting goals and praise positive safety behaviours;
  • Coaching – coach and support others to achieve shared goals; 
  • Involvement – encourage the involvement of everyone in managing safety;
  • Trust – promote positive relations and trust between first line management and staff; 
  • Consistency – demonstrate consistent safety messages at all management levels; and
  • Training – provide training to develop the leadership skills conducive to safety.

The research included both peer-reviewed journal papers and policy research reports. In addition, accident reports and relevant discussion papers for a sample of sixteen major incidents were reviewed in order to identify any recurrent themes in the causation of these incidents.

The emphasis was on those issues that either represented leadership failures or have leadership implications for the management of safety.

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